Jim Travers has a reputation for a hands-on approach, strong negotiating skills, and a head for complex real estate transactions.

Travers has made good use of his knack for face-to-face negotiating, finishing the year with $189.6 million in office tenant leases. His clients include SunAmerica Inc., Trust Co. of the West, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., 20th Century Insurance, Equilon and Kaufman & Broad.

One of Travers' trickiest transactions last year involved keeping the Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler law firm in its SunAmerica Center offices in Century City for another 10 years, with a lease worth about $30 million. In another big transaction, valued at $10 million, Travers placed Bain & Co. ILFC in 53,621 square feet of space at 1901 Ave. of the Stars.

Another high-profile deal involved brokering a five-year, $3.8 million lease for 23,000 square feet at 11601 Wilshire Blvd. by Kushner-Locke Co.

Bonita Kunsman, a senior vice president at SunAmerica Inc., has worked with Travers for years on various transactions, and is impressed by his tenacity. "The only time we ever seem to call Jim is when we have a real challenge. He's so aggressive, he never says no. Also his support staff is so professional they are always there and go above and beyond whatever needs to be done."

A native New Yorker, Travers started his career in real estate with the Edward S. Gordon Co. in New York City 30 years ago. He came to Los Angeles in 1973, and in 1979 he started his own real estate brokerage firm representing only tenants one of relatively few firms representing solely tenants. Based in downtown L.A., the firm has expanded to four offices, including one in Orange County, with a total of 25 brokers.

While most real estate brokers are finding their business lives completely changed by the onset of technology, Travers admits that he doesn't even have a computer on his desk. Most of his day is spent running around town attending meetings, talking on his cell phone all the way. Travers says he's only in the office about 10 hours a week, and if there is computer work to be done, he has his assistants do it.

Travers was given Douglas Emmett's Broker of the Year Award in 1999. In 1998, he was recognized for "Most Ingenious Lease Transactions" by the Building Owners and Managers Association for his 10-year commitment to finding new headquarters for 20th Century Insurance in Woodland Hills.

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